The U.S. Coast Guard has begun ice breaking operations in the northern Great Lakes.
Operation Taconite began a week earlier than last year, as ice began to cover ports and critical shipping lanes.
The cutter Katmai Bay will be responsible for keeping the shipping lane between Sault Sainte Marie and Duluth open for the rest of the shipping season.
Operation Taconite also includes ice breaking efforts in the St. Marys River, the Straits of Mackinac, Georgian Bay, Green Bay, northern Lake Huron, and Lake Michigan.
The Lake Superior shipping season typically runs until mid-January.